How 2020 Changed Commercial Security

Publication Date:
January 26, 2021
Patrick Buckley
Security Franchise

2020 was a historic year, but unfortunately for a lot of negative reasons. Wildfires, political tension, and civil unrest were about, all the while a global pandemic caused a public health crisis and severe economic downturn. 

First off, let’s hope 2021 is a MAJOR improvement from the previous 12 months.

Secondly, which changes that occurred in 2020 are here to stay? 

If you’re a small business or franchise owner, this is an important question to ask yourself. An unfortunate but objective reality of the pandemic is that it illuminated which businesses are truly ‘essential’, and which ones are not as dependable. 

If you’re an existing franchise owner looking to acquire a new concept, or a first time franchise buyer, you should be asking some questions..

How essential is my business?

How will this franchise perform in a downturn?

Has covid impacted this business in the long term?

These are the questions we asked ourselves at Oakscale when we partnered with Surveillance Secure in July of 2020. As an electronic security integrator, we saw a franchise that didn’t need to shut down for a single day because of covid, and in fact, the events of 2020 only increased demand for their services.

We expect this increase in demand to continue well into 2021 and beyond. Let’s look at a few of the major trends in electronic security and access control that are here to stay.

Touchless Access Control 

The majority of us have likely interacted with some form of what’s known as “access control” technology. Ever stayed in a hotel where you need to scan your room key to get into the penthouse suite? If the answer is yes, then you have interacted with a form of access control technology.

Other forms of this technology include key fobs, which many businesses use for their employees to get into their buildings, and even specific offices. Key fob technology has been around for decades, however in the last 5 or so years, a new form of access control that is more secure has come about, known as biometric access control.

Surveillance Secure biometric access control

What does that mean? It’s a fancy way of saying that you use your fingerprint to get into those same buildings and/or offices. If you have an iPhone 8 or newer version, you’re probably using biometric scanning to unlock your phone everyday. Biometric access control is considered more secure because while it’s not easy to steal a key fob, it’s MUCH more difficult (and painful 😧 ) to steal someones finger.

However, after the onset of covid, having a central device that hundreds of employees have to touch every single day sounds like a fantastically horrible way to spread germs. So now, biometric devices are “out”, and touchless access control is “in”. 

There’s varying ways to grant keyless and touchless access, whether it’s through a blue-tooth device or other methods. Regardless, Surveillance Secure is there to offer the right touchless solution for their clients now and in the future.

Thermal Imaging 

Thankfully, the covid vaccine roll out has begun, which means as a society we’re on our way to returning to normalcy. While that is certainly cause for optimism, the current timelines from the WHO, Dr. Fauci and his team, etc. have stated that normalcy is unlikely to return until a certain level of the population is vaccinated, which appears to be no sooner than Fall 2021.

So while the end of quarantining is somewhat in sight, over the next 9-12 months we’ll see varying levels of retail businesses reopening depending on state legislation, warmer temperatures, etc. Many businesses that do re-open in the near term will likely be taking temperatures of customers that enter their establishments as a mandatory safety protocol. 

We expect thermal imaging cameras i.e. cameras that can quickly detect body temperature, will play a significant role in helping businesses reopen. The 1 minute video below is Surveillance Secure franchisee Jerrod Littleton out of Philadelphia, who is providing this exact service to businesses right now:

Not only will this be helpful in the near term as we emerge from covid, but the reality is that every subsequent flu season that comes will bring with it the painful memories of 2020, which means certain health safety guidelines will remain intact to prevent another outbreak.

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it..”

Businesses, especially in areas that experience cold winters, will keep thermal imaging cameras so that they can continue to play their part in preventing the spread of infectious diseases to their customers and society at large. 

Increased Surveillance

Civil unrest via protests erupted in many cities across the country in 2020. We’re only 26 days into 2021 and we’ve seen a major security breach in our nation's capital.

Businesses in protest zones had their windows smashed, items stolen, and in certain cases buildings burnt to a crisp.

Regardless of your stance on any of these protests, one thing is for certain: if you are a business owner, you want to protect it from damage, theft, and in the worst case scenario utter destruction. 

Electronic surveillance cameras won’t physically stop someone from burning down or stealing from your store, but they can:

  1. Record and capture the identity of the person who is responsible, and
  2. Discourage potential theft by virtue of their presence 

Given the tumultuous events that have occurred and have yet to stop occurring, businesses without electronic surveillance have gotten a brutal wake up call, and businesses that already have it are thinking twice about if it’s time to add more cameras, or get an upgrade.

Either way, businesses such as Surveillance Secure that provide these installation services, and the monitoring of it via a recurring monthly charge , stand to benefit in the years to come.

* * *

2020 separated the essential businesses from the non-essential. If you’re looking for new opportunities, a franchise that not only has thrived through covid, but is also positioned to benefit from the industry tailwinds created by it, is a great place to start. 

Between Surveillance Secure’s essential nature in “normal times”, and it’s unique ability to provide increased surveillance, and meet new thermal imaging and touchless access control needs, it stands ready to build upon it’s 2020 success in the years to come. 

For more information on this essential franchise, visit